Reported by: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/19/AR2011011905093.html
The White House says President Barack Obama and the first lady want tonight’s state dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao (hoo jihn-tow) to show off some of America’s most recognized offerings and the menu lives up to the description. Food doesn’t get any more American than meat and potatoes, washed down with apple pie and ice cream. More than 200 guests will dine on a main course of dry-aged rib eye steak with buttermilk crisp onions, double stuffed potatoes and creamed spinach. There’s a first course of pear salad and a second course of poached Maine lobster with orange-glazed carrots and black trumpet mushrooms. Dinner will be served in the Red, Blue and State Dining rooms.
Reported by John Lehndorff at http://www.johnlehndorff.com/JL-Pie.html:
(From the “This I Believe” archive)
I believe in pie. My favorite food, bar none, is warm, fresh wild blueberry pie a la moded with good vanilla bean ice cream. But my faith transcends simple taste. When push comes to shove (as it so often does in life), I trust what lies within flaky crust.
I honestly believe that if we all sat down and ate pie together, we’d find common ground. Our nation would be a better place if we made pie, not war. Each of us deserves their piece of the pie, not pie in the sky. We like to brag on things that are “as American as apple pie,” which is really to say that pie, like all us citizens, emigrated here from elsewhere and found a home. America’s allies and its enemies also understand pastry in its myriad manifestations. They believe in baklava, empanadas, samosas, b’stilla, hammentaschen, pasties, tarts or quiche. No matter what you call it, pie epitomizes abundance and celebration.
Years ago I believed in pie so deep-dishedly that I took it on as my mission. I yearned to be America’s Pie Guy. I was the first executive director of the American Pie Council, the only organization devoted to saving our national dessert. I taught pie-making classes, celebrated National Pie Day on Jan. 23, devised pie charts, and judged innumerable contest pies for their crust, their filling and their lovability. I tasted a whole lot of badly made apple pies in my time.
Ah, pie. It’s a continuum that keeps on giving, as long as we keep making it for those we love. No wonder mathematicians also believe in pi, or 3.14159265358… etc ., involving as it does, the perfect geometry of an unbroken circle, the shape of a pie.
Before the greatest generation of pie-makers passes on, I urge everyone to record your family’s most precious oral history. Stand in the kitchen with a flour-sprinkled, pie-baking elder and learn first-hand when pie dough crust “feels” right and is ready to be rolled. No database contains this knowledge. Pay it forward by passing the zen of pie-making (and the rolling pin) to the next generation.Admittedly, my pastry devotion comes at a cost. I suffer from a permanent case of pie thighs, a small price to pay for the healing power of mince, pumpkin, green chile tamale, lemon meringue, sweet potato and chicken pot pie.
I believe I’ll have another slice.
Reported by Charlie Papazian, founder of National Pie Day and the Great American Beer Festival at examiner.com:
“What’s the secret to the best pie in the world? Relax, don’t worry and have a homebrew! The difficulty of pie-making is overrated. Crust is simple to make. 3/4 cup butter, 2 cups flour and a bit of salt. Mix well. Don’t worry. Then add 4 tablepoons cold water, stir in with pie cutter or simple fork. When evenly mixed roll out on pie cloth dusted with flour. Easy. Have another beer.”
A quote from Henry Ward Beecher “:
“(The pie should be eaten) while it is yet florescent, white or creamy yellow, with the merest drip of candied juice along the edges, (as if the flavor were so good to itself that its own lips watered!) of a mild and modest warmth, the sugar suggesting jelly, yet not jellied, the morsels of apple neither dissolved nor yet in original substance, but hanging as it were in a trance between the spirit and the flesh of applehood…then, O blessed man, favored by all the divinities! eat, give thanks, and go forth, ‘in apple-pie order!'”
Complaints, tirades, comments, critiques? email@example.com
John Lehndorff is co-author with Kim Long of the American Salumi Calendar 2011, the first calendar devoted to cured meat artisans in the U.S. Lehndorff is a former caterer, nationally distributed newspaper food columnist and restaurant critic, author of a restaurant guide book, and one of America’s foremost pie experts.
The 2011 American Salumi Calendar: www.americansalumi.com